St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The number of sexually transmitted diseases reported to the state continued to climb last year.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued its annual report on incidences of STDs and it shows the overall number of new chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were up 3-percent from 2017. The report also found a slight increase in new HIV cases, which increased by 286 last year.

The Department of Health noted an alarming increase in cases of congenital syphilis. While the overall number is small with 10 new cases in 2018, that represents a four-fold increase from 2017. Congenital syphilis involves the infection in a fetus or infant at birth and can result in serious complications, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature death, birth defects, and infant death.

“We are working closely with clinicians, local public health departments, and other community partners to respond to this increase in congenital syphilis,” Lynfield said. “With ongoing increases in congenital syphilis, it is really important that pregnant women are tested for syphilis at least twice during pregnancy, and in some cases, a third time. It is important to diagnosis cases during pregnancy and provide adequate treatment to prevent complications in both the mother and infant.”

The report shows a continued upward trend in cases of Hepatitis C. The health department says 60 acute cases of the disease reported in 2018. The data also found disparities remain among communities of color and men who engage in sexual activity with other men.
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